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Seaweed mariculture as a development project in Zanzibar, East Africa: A price too high to pay?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology. Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
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2012 (English)In: Aquaculture, ISSN 0044-8486, E-ISSN 1873-5622, Vol. 356, 30-39 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Seaweed mariculture has been promoted as a development project in tropical countries and Zanzibar, Tanzania, is commonly presented as a successful story. However, the results of the present research provide a nuanced picture of the activity identifying serious health problems among farmers. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with female seaweed farmers (n=140) and non-seaweed farmers (n=140) in Zanzibar to evaluate health and working conditions. In-depth interviews with additional 28 female seaweed farmers were performed to deepen the understanding of the working conditions and related problems. The research was undertaken at seven different locations to cover areas where seaweed is extensively executed during August to September 2009 and May to June 2010. Seaweed farmers considered their health significantly poorer than non-seaweed farmers with fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, hunger, respiratory problems, eye related problems, injuries from hazardous animals and sharp shells in the water and allergies as the most serious issues (p<0.05). Income was further reported below the extreme poverty line. Since seaweed farming affects thousands of households in the tropics these results should encourage changes towards better working conditions and sustainability.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 356, 30-39 p.
Keyword [en]
Tropical developing countries, Seaweed farming, Poor working conditions, Health problems, Zanzibar, Euchema denticulatum
National Category
Research subject
Natural Resources Management
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-78443DOI: 10.1016/j.aquaculture.2012.05.039ISI: 000306171100005OAI: diva2:539645
Available from: 2012-07-04 Created: 2012-07-04 Last updated: 2014-02-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Women in the Seascape: Gender, Livelihoods and Management of Coastal and Marine Resources in Zanzibar, East Africa
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Women in the Seascape: Gender, Livelihoods and Management of Coastal and Marine Resources in Zanzibar, East Africa
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

All over the world, coastal populations depend on, and influence, the environment in pursue of their livelihoods. Managing the environment, while meeting the growing demand for marine resources, is a challenge. It further requires knowledge about all actors. Women's contribution is often overlooked in research, policy and management of marine and coastal resources. This thesis aims to reduce this gap; a gender analysis is applied to differentiate women and men's access and use of the seascape and to address key gender issues in coastal livelihoods in Zanzibar, Tanzania. Paper I shows that men are typically engaged in fisheries and have access to the whole seascape, whereas women engage in less economically viable activities, such as seaweed farming and invertebrate harvesting, in near-shore areas. A limitation for women to reach the whole seascape is a general lack of boat transport, swimming skills and fishing gear. Paper II analyzes occupational health within seaweed farming and shows that women seaweed farmers suffer from a variety of problems, such as eye infections, musculoskeletal pains, respiratory problems and fatigue, because of poor working conditions. Paper III addresses social and ecological aspects of invertebrate harvesting. This activity lacks proper management and over a five-year period (2005 to 2010), invertebrate abundance and species richness have decreased. It also reveals gender disparities in access to invertebrate collecting grounds and species of higher economic value. Paper IV examines gender within fish trade; women traders have less access to markets, high-value fish, a diverse customer-base, cold-storing facilities and fish trade associations. Income data shows that women's income is always lower. The management system is found to be androcentric and this thesis thus argues for the need to look at the "bigger picture"; the whole seascape, both men and women, and their interests should be considered in coastal and marine management.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences, Stockholm Univeristy, 2014. 69 p.
Gender, fisheries, invertebrate harvesting, seaweed farming, coastal and marine management
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Marine Ecotoxicology
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-100576 (URN)978-91-7447-829-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-03-14, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 1: Manuscript. Paper 3: Manuscript.

Available from: 2014-02-20 Created: 2014-02-06 Last updated: 2014-09-12Bibliographically approved

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Fröcklin, SaraLindström, Lars
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Department of Systems EcologyStockholm Resilience CentreDepartment of Political Science
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